Rik Mayall's hit comedies included The Young Ones and Bottom
British comedian and actor Rik Mayall has died aged 56, according to his management team.
He played the obnoxious, poetry-writing anarchist Rick in The Young Ones alongside his friend Adrian Edmondson before the duo later went on to star in their sitcom Bottom.
Mayall also appeared in shows including Blackadder and The New Statesman.
He was left seriously ill after a quad bike accident in 1998 which left him in a coma for several days.
Mayall's film roles included the comedies Drop Dead Fred and Guest House Paradiso.
Mayall famously starred in The Young Ones
His big break came at The Comic Strip Club, performing with comedy partner Adrian Edmondson as 20th Century Coyote in the 1980s which led to cult television hit The Comic Strip Presents.
He co-wrote The Young Ones with Lise Mayer and Ben Elton, which shared cult status and schoolboy humour with later sitcom Bottom.
Mayall and Edmondson's slapstick comedy often involved fires, explosions, and hefty blows to the head with a frying pan.
Mayall also famously played the loud-mouthed and lecherous Lord Flashheart in BBC comedy series Blackadder, starring Rowan Atkinson.
He appeared in the second and fourth series, shouting catchphrases such as "woof!" and "let's do-oo-oo it!".
But his early, anarchic characters gave way to the smooth, scheming Conservative politician Alan B'Stard in The New Statesman, which ran on ITV from 1986 to 1992.
A statement from Mayall's management, Brunskill, said: "We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Rik Mayall who passed away this morning.
"We will be issuing a further statement in the fullness of time."
Blackadder producer and writer John Lloyd told the BBC: "It's really a dreadful piece of news."
"He was the most extraordinarily good actor as well as being an amazing stand-up comics. Apart from being great company, he was a great professional," said Lloyd
Comedian David Walliams was among those paying tribute on Twitter., posting a video of Mayall's entrance as Lord Flashheart in Blackadder.
He wrote: "I am heartbroken that my comedy idol growing up Rik Mayall has died. He made me want to be a comedian."
Writer Caitlin Moran tweeted: "Oh, Lord Flashheart RIP. God I loved you so hard."
Director Edgar Wright also paid tribute: "Shocked and saddened that a comedy hero is gone; for those who grew up on The Young Ones, Rik Mayall was one of funniest performers ever."